Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review

1.     Dr. Hedgecock – Finally! I obtained my Doctor of Ministry degree in May. So grateful it is finished, for the sacrifice of Christy and my children, and the support of my friends who encouraged me along the way: Kyle and Jamie, and so many more.
2.     Mexico – Christy & I went on a cruise stopping in Prgoresso (swimming in cenotes and snorkeling & dunbuggying in Cozumel
3.     Chloe is Reading and her team Repeated as champions in her basketball league
4.     Coleman dominated in Soccer, football, and school - I am really happy about sports and his early educational development. 
 5.     Clays has one favorite in the world, and so far it is me!
 6.     KC mission trip – The family went to KC and participated in the mission trip together. It was great to share in God's commission as a family. This was a great memory!
7. Father/Son and Father/Daughter Campouts - I am not much of a camper, but I had a great time taking Coleman for an overnight campout in the Spring, and Chloe for an overnight campout in the Fall!
8. Interim Student Pastor – I was our interim youth pastor from January until May.
9. Great Wall Visit – The great wall visit was great, and it is great to be a man officially according to Chinese proverb/folklore... the funny thing is that this is nowhere near the best part of my trip to China, this just represents why this trip made the list!
10. Bible in a year – Typically, I will read ahead and skip a day here or there. In 2012, I read the daily allotment every single day. It was a great thing! 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Friend Zig

God has blessed me greatly throughout the years. He has placed tremendous people in my path to learn and glean from. No one has had more of an impact than Zig Ziglar. As a junior high student, I took a leadership class based upon his book See You at the Top. During that class I had heard he taught a Sunday School class at FBC Dallas and wanted to visit it, but never did. As a first year seminary student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, I became frustrated just going to school after a week or two and applied for a job at Prestonwood Baptist as an intern for the Open Division. I had no clue what that even meant, but ended up getting the job after connecting with the minister of that adult division, David Goza.

Unbeknownst to me, the Open Division was an adult department centered around big personalities that drew more than a age range by appealing to people of all ages and life-stages. The true center of this division was one teacher who drew over 500 people each week, Zig Ziglar! After 18 months of working in this division, my boss David Goza left to go pastor a church. Soon thereafter I received a promotion to become the Pastor of the Encouragers Class (Zig’s class) and the Open Division minister. A fellow adult division minister later told me that I only got the job because Zig had lobbied for me to have that job to Pastor Dr. Jack Graham, saying “I was his guy” (the other guy meant that as an insult, but I still think that is one of the coolest compliments I have ever received!).

For the next three years I got to work for and with Mr. Ziglar. Soon after my promotion, Zig asked me to teach his home Bible study. I vividly remember the first Bible study. We sat down, I had prepared, but honestly thought it was going to be him teaching and me listening. As I stared waiting on him to talk, he said, “Well young man, let’s hear what God has placed upon your heart for us.” From that point on, he sat and listened as I taught in his home over the next few years. He never dominated the conversation, never corrected me, he just listened and encouraged me, offering communication advice every so often.

Every Saturday morning during my time at Prestonwood he would call and ask me some sort of Bible question as he was preparing. Yes, he would ask me a Bible question! Yes, he studied for his lesson every week. Zig was the real deal and never took his role of teaching for granted. He was diligent to prepare, even if he had taught that lesson or a similar one before.

Zig also had a distinct desire to leverage his fame for the glory of God. He would talk about how he wanted to use his speaking platform to share Jesus with others. Marketplace Christianity became his theme and emphasis during my days with him. If he had a conference in Dallas, he would invite people to his Encouragers Bible Fellowship class that and every Sunday morning at Prestonwood. He was faithful in church, rarely missing and always sitting front and center in the worship center. He loved the Bible, loved to learn, loved to share, loved to teach. He made the most of his days.

More than any of that, I know Zig & Jean loved me. While at Prestonwood, Zig had a severe case of diverticulitis. He had three code blues, reviving each time and spent several weeks in the hospital. During those weeks, his whole family made me feel like I was one of them. Zig & Jean always had kind things to say to me, encouraging me in all walks of life. They would make it a point to take me out to lunch, give me a hug, and even call just to check in on me. One of my last dinners with Zig & Jean was in Tulsa at his hotel when he came to speak. They listened about our life, and Zig kept telling me I ought to write a book about what God had and was doing in my life.

Over the past few weeks there have been reports on his life and the impact he made on so many. A common theme has been that he was the same man in private as he was from the stage, which is totally true. Just as his impact reached around the globe, his impact also reached people around their hearts. A man in my church told me that he had the opportunity to meet Zig once and visit with him for about ten minutes. He said that ever since that time he felt like Zig truly was one of his friends. For me, that speaks to the legacy of a man that was my friend too. A man that loved His Savior, loved his wife, loved his children, loved his church, loved his friends, and loved me too. May we all be encouraged by the encourager!

Monday, December 17, 2012

11 Attributes Of Great Leadership

1. Honesty – Tell the truth; even if lying is easier.
2. Integrity – Do what’s right; even if nobody is watching.
3. Visionary – Have some vision for where you’re going; empower your team to get you there and if you don’t do anything else.
4.  Self-Awareness – Know who you are; the good, the bad and the ugly.
5. Risk Taker – Be willing to try new things, new strategies and embrace new ideas; even if the ideas aren’t yours.
6. Caring – Truly care about those you lead; people can care less about how much you know until they know how much you care.
7. Stand For Something – Lead by convictions; know why you do what you do and why you think what you think.
8. Spirit Of Development – Develop other leaders; without leadership development, the pipeline of leadership is halted.
9. Good Listener – Be willing to listen; if you’re always talking, there is a good chance you are not listening.
10. Lifetime Leaner – Learn from anything and everything; no matter how many degrees or titles you have, you always have the capacity to learn.
11. Humility – Stay levelheaded and don’t think that you’re better than others; no matter how much success, praise or fortune you receive. 

Scott Williams is the original author of this post.